Mobile application for sharing patient data across health facilities
Bore, Nelson Kipbichii
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Information technology has tremendously improved healthcare delivery with the implementations of electronic medical record system (EMRs). It has allowed health facilities to document interactions with patients, view medical records and recording of laboratory tests. Despite the widely documented benefits of EMRs, many health practitioners are still faced with a number of challenges: Patient data cannot be shared across health facilities and clinicians cannot enter patient data in real time to EMRs hence lack of real time patient medical history. Currently, EMRs' are hospital dependent and they cannot communicate with other hospitals to share information when necessesary. This makes it hard for health practitioners to share patient data and access medical history which aids in patients diagnosis. This research sought to investigate why hospitals cannot share patient data yet they have EMR systems implemented and also identify some of the possible platforms that are there for sharing patient data across different hospitals. To achieve this , the author sent out pre questionnaire to get general information on sharing ofpatient data. Findings indicated that there is no system that health officers can use to share patient data across health centers. A total of66% agreed that there is need of sharing data and they are currently using patient notes to share patient data , this implied that there is need for a system to share patient data. This research developed a mobile application as a proof of concept for sharing data across health centers, the application was then distributed via Google play store for users to download and test. Test findings indicated that 53% strongly agreed that the application was usable and able to share patient data effectively, this meant that having such a system many people will find it useful. Despite the high possibility ofadoption, there were also challenges that could hinder its wide usage that were found e.g. lack of a modular EMR system implemented in hospitals. With the availability of modular EMR implemented in the hospital, the proposed mobile application for sharing patient data across health centers could be of help. This would allow health practitioners to record , access and share patient data with ease across all the different health centers that the patient will visit. This solution will improve the whole interaction of health practitioners with patient data, improve the speed of recording patient observation and provide meaningful tracking of patient data over time.